Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Greater Good?

The Greater Good
(by R.P.Edwards)

“The greater good”
The traitor’s foil
To pierce
And maim
To wound
And spoil
A license
To perform the deed
That causes innocents…to bleed
A “justified”
For evil ways
The quisling’s permit
To betray
And as he basks in freedom’s nest
And kills the men
That give him…rest
He worries not
Nor deems he should
Till “he” becomes
The greater…good

“WikiLeaks.”  Honestly, I didn’t know about the “whistleblower” site until the recent mega-release of secret military documents by a U.S Army Intelligence Analyst, Private Bradley Manning (alleged), made the news.  Apparently the lad (22) didn’t like what’s going on in Afghanistan so he, with some help, fed the blather buttress a lot of information, some of which (so I hear) could put our soldiers and allies…at risk. 

Okay, just for fun I went to the “source” and copied some of their lofty lingo.  Here ‘tis:

WikiLeaks is a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public…
We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies…
It is only when the people know the true plans and behavior of their governments that they can meaningfully choose to support them…
WikiLeaks is a buttress against unaccountable and abusive power…

You know, I can see a place for this kind of thing.  A place where dirty corners are exposed to the light of day.  And then I learned they also published Sarah Palin’s e-mail account…

Alright.  Some brief thoughts.  1. As for Pvt. Manning; I dearly hope the zealous youth, in his naivety, didn’t realize the damage he would do with this release.  Without question there were other ways to express his discontent within the system but, believing the ‘anonymity’ promise of the process he spilled “our” guts…and now “his” actions may claim many lives…including his own. 2. Apparently the horror of collateral damage had much to do with the Private’s actions.  Now, I’ve never walked the alley, or crouched in a foxhole, but I know (and history gives testimony to such) that when humans and ordinance mix…a lot of innocents may fall.  It’s a dirty business, and yes, hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps Mr. Manning should have been given a little more time in the field before he was married to the keyboard.  And 3. Once again our detached existence with cyberspace comes back to bite us.  Raised in a culture where “avatars are us” we are slow to realize that our actions in the “office” have consequences in the real world.  Consequences…that may kill.

And so, today it is the “duty” of WikiLeaks to publish all; even if it puts lives at risk.  How ironic it would be if, in the future, American GIs are called upon, once again, to save those who, in time of safety, treat their protectors with utter contempt.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Of Babies...and Bulls

The New Wisdom
(by R.P.Edwards)

From your mouth
Into the air
Your moistened finger
Tells you where
The cooling side
The winds caress
Will show you which direction’s…best
Put away your compass…old
Ignore the words
From wisemen…told
Just wind and whim
Your trusted tools
Then quickly die
The death…of fools

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what you feel immoral is what you feel bad after and judged by these moral standards, which I do not defend, the bullfight is very moral to me because I feel very fine while it is going on and have a feeling of life and death and mortality and immortality, and after it is over I feel very sad but very fine.”  From “Death in the Afternoon” by Ernest Hemingway. 

The subject is “Bullfights” and Spain’s--in the news--Catalonia region banning the practice (starting in 2012).  I thought a Hemingway insert might be appropriate and, finding a suitable quote, it appears above.  As a part-timer in wordsmithing one of my first thoughts (admittedly shallow) was, “Where are the commas?” But, since this fellow has captured the imagination of millions with his stories, I figure he knows (knew) what he’s doing.  Anyway, I was looking for a minor reference, but “Papa” got to the heart.

And so, animal rights activists rejoice that bulls will soon be free from the torture associated with the moves and manipulation of the matador.  No more pokes and piercing.  No more pesky picadors and bugging banderilleros.  No more taunting and toying with the noble beast leading, ultimately, to a death in front of a blood-thirsty crowd with the degrading shout of “Ole’!” still in its innocent ears.

Now, I’m not a fan of animal cruelty and certainly, in the eyes of many, the bull thing qualifies.  But, allow me to point out a bit of disturbing irony.  You see, the same month the bull huggers rejoice is the very same month that a new Spanish law goes into effect that allows unhindered abortions up to the fourteenth week. 
Once again; animals good, people bad.  Save the bovine, but kill the baby.

So, sure, be concerned about our animal friends.  But if you really want your compassion on display…save the human animal…first.  For, without question, if every bull, over the eons of time; if every bull that ever hoofed in the heather were to be slowly brought to a painful end it would fall far short of the worth of just one of the precious beings that are made... “in the image of God.”

The Shame in Spain
(by R.P.Edwards)

The shame in Spain
Is mainly from the brain
Thinking they’re God…when they’re not
So they cry for the bull
Till tissues are full
But for babies…they don’t shed a drop

Some comfort for my Spanish friends:  We, in America, when it comes to babies and beasts; “We” …are far worse…than thee.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Of graves...and gratitude

(by R.P.Edwards)

The simple stone
Placed at the head
Beneath the sod
A warrior…dead
And though our grief
On focused…one
Let’s rise and see
The greater sum
Thousands, thousands!
Line on line
Silent sentries
Nation’s time
Speaking, speaking!
Past and now
The sacred words
The solemn vow
Marching, moving
All in place
A chorus rings
Of works…and grace
And pleads remembrance
To the task
To teach the young
When children ask
To tell of worth
Beyond the “me”
The gift to all
The “all”…of free
And then return
To loved one’s bed
And touch the stone
Placed at…the head

And so many, perhaps thousands, of graves in Arlington National Cemetery…may be mislabeled.  I must admit, I found the news a bit disturbing, but not devastating (perhaps I’d feel differently if a close loved one were interred there.) For, when it comes to government oversight--be it taxes or tombs--I expect a certain degree of incompetence.  However, the good senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, is not quite so forgiving.  She’s launched an investigation to get to the bottom of this.  I hope she does.

Now, stepping back a moment, I see a symbolic thing going on here; a kind of …we’ve lost our way, our bearings, kind of thing.  And, a simple looking to where we were, and where we “are”; just seems to heighten the disparity .  However, perhaps with all the “digging” we’ll begin to remember the old fashioned America that has, of late, been misplaced.  Perhaps with all the backtracking we’ll discover that the “current track” does not find its roots in the former station.  And, perhaps with a fine-toothed figuring of “who they were”… we’ll also discover who…we are not.  And, having discovered this, perhaps we’ll ask past generations for their compass.  I'm sure they’d be glad to share it.  Indeed, they could not have envisioned…that it would ever be…lost.

It might be a good time to view, again, the video titled, The Stone.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Context, and Cost

Oops, my bad
(by R.P.Edwards)

“I killed the man…”
The snippet
That got the fellow…hung
The portion of the damaged tape
The trial…quickly done
But as the rope was lowered
The coffin…filled with him
The tape, repaired
Brought great despair
“I killed the man…at gin”

“So I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do,” --the charge nailed to the cross upon which Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia Director of Rural Development, was to be crucified.

I must admit, when I heard the “snippet” of what Ms. Sherrod said at a NAACP meeting it caused me some discomfort.  Not a big fan of bureaucrats as it is (unelected, part of the woodwork…for years) this “proof” of administrative tilt was but fuel for the fire. 

Then, I heard a slight addendum… “Twenty years ago (twenty-four actually.)” “Huh?” And now, as context is achieved, we discover that the lady was slandered.  Indeed, she was giving a lengthy speech; a sermon of sorts, and the troubling words were part of her “before” period (kind of like the Apostle Paul when, in his BC days, he hated Christians).  Later--in her own words--“God helped me to see that it’s not just about black people.  It’s about poor people.”

You see, context…is everything.  What did the words mean at the time?  What was the overall message?  Indeed, in my brief season of research (about an hour or so), I went from a general headline, to Alan Colmes' radio take (if you can believe that) and then to a lengthy YouTube video of the actual NAACP meeting (link below).  I must admit, I was touched by the hardship she described of her childhood years (father murdered; justice denied.  Mother threatened. Cross burning) and then--older and carrying this baggage--she was put in a position where she could discriminate against the race that had treated hers so badly.  But…God.

Now, when I began this offering it was my intent to tie in prospective jurist, Elena Kagan, because, frankly, she will, ultimately, help decide current law based on the U.S. Constitution.  From what I’ve heard, her “take” will lean left, which, to me means “Context? Who cares?”  [Case in point: Prayer/God in schools.  Understanding that Scripture was an integral part of education when the Constitution was written, the “know-betters” have twisted the first and fourteenth amendments to say it’s now unconstitutional.  Outrageous!]  Anyway, enough of that.

I do, however, encourage the reader to follow the link below and watch much of the “meeting” in question.  It’s nearly complete (there’s a slight edit midway).  You’ll find Ms Sherrod genuine, compassionate, devout and, although I don’t know how some people of faith can so willing rally behind our current president (considering some of the positions he holds), I truly believe “this woman” is the real deal, and nothing like first portrayed.

Another of her quotes of note:  “Young people, I want you to know that when you’re true to what God wants you to do, the path just opens up and things just come to you. ...God is good.  I can tell you that.”

She concluded with a saying, “Life is a grindstone.  But whether it grinds us down, or polishes us up…depends on us.”  To this writer…Ms Sherrod…is shining brightly.

YouTube video of NAACP Meeting


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Novel idea

Pay as you Go
(by R.P.Edwards)

Pay as you go
A budget…you see?
Spending…with ending
As clear as can be
Don’t have it?
Don’t get it!
Don’t borrow to own
For those so inclined
Learn their “lives”…are the loan

Six months.  Six dragging months.  That’s how long this simple scribe was laid off.  It was unexpected, unseen, but it happened and, like so many, I joined the millions who became dependent on the “twice a month” allowance from the government.  It helped us get by.  Thanks.

Today, in the news, we see that yet another “unemployment payment” extension is moments away from being a reality.  Apparently many, even after a years time (some longer) are still…in need; and, in order for the meals and means to keep coming, an infusion of cash is required.

There’s a problem, however.  It seems the “righties” are dragging their collective feet.  But the delay put forth by these pesky Republicans is not because they’re devoid of compassion (as some would paint them) but, rather, that their “compassion” extends to the many, now; and the many, later.  Yes, their “selfish sin” is that they want the expensive extension to actually be paid for, instead of--as many on the left clamor for-- putting it on the “just for emergencies” credit card located in Uncle Sam’s bedroom bureau, top drawer, behind the socks.  "And," add the elephants, there are cuts that could be made in the bloated government budget to cover it or--and here’s a novel idea--money is still available from the infamous “stimulus bill.”  In other words; pay in advance for the relief we give…instead of sticking it to our posterity. 

Pay as you go.  A novel idea.  An idea…that is long overdue. 

Comments welcome

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What was that?!

What was that?
(by R.P.Edwards)

“What was that?!”
The fearful phrase
From lady’s lips
Their “man” to craze
For actions… “His”
Must then ensue
To dare the dark
Or turn a screw
And then with labors finally done
With “fix it” fixed
Or battle…won
He sheds his tools
Perchance to nap
Then hears again
What was that?!”

It was a teaching moment; as natural for “Gramps” as donning his blue jean “bibs” or picking a blade of prairie grass to thoughtfully chew before daily watching the sun slowly rise above the eastern part of “God’s fifty acres.”  Yes, this plot was small, as farms go, but he loving worked it with Jenkins, his Andalusia jack mule and today, to his delight, his grandson (adorned as he) Daniel--at the boy’s request!--wanted a lesson in how to plow… “The way Gramps does.”  “Alright my young farmer,” began the elder, “put your hands on the handles and make that sound I taught you.”  The little learner made a double kissing noise and, with a jolt, the strong animal engine caused the blade to dig in…and the furrow to be made.  After twenty yards, however, Josiah (the man’s name, seldom heard) gently pulled the reins and had the lad turn to look at the near past.  “Do you see how we’re off course a bit?”  “Yes, Gramps, I see.” “Well, my boy (both turning now) the way to make straight even rows…is to focus on a distant spot--like that fence post--and aim towards it.” “I’ve got a question for you, Gramps.” (the boy pointed to something much closer) “What does it mean when Jenkins’ tail is lifted up?”  “You’ll see in just a moment, little Dan, you‘ll see.”

The voice of the Buick sounded a little…off; but it was the scraping sound that evoked the dreaded phrase from my wife‘s lips, “What was that?!” An exit and short investigation later and I could see that the tail pipe, aft of the muffler, had disengaged and had plowed a rather straight furrow in our gravel driveway (the inspiration for the tale above.)  Well, I was quickly reminded that the car “had” to be functional for later-in-the-day necessities and, since visiting the muffler shop was not in the budget, “I,” the male, would have to do something.  That “something” involved wire and, as I lay beneath the beast (rain adding to the mix), a few thoughts scooted by.  “I’d get fired for this at work,” was one.  Why?  Because my raising the car’s body by driving up and parking on a rather short piece of four-by-four wouldn’t pass OSHA muster.  “Might make an interesting ‘Safety Update.’” I also remember doing a similar procedure on the Pennsylvania turnpike on a blistering hot day sometime in the early nineties.  It was an old white LTD and the kids were mere tots.  As I recollect, a helpful garage owner had mercy and gave me the wire for the job. And, although I’m sure it was an interesting diversion for the backseat riders; at the end of the day I felt as though I had been beaten (as in “slapped soundly”). 

And so, as my jury-rig is in place and I prepare for the next “do,” I can’t help thinking that our nation is also in the ‘temporary fix’ mode.  Instead of welds…we use wires; instead of bolts…we use Band-Aids; instead of what works…we use…words.  But, I am hopeful, that with enough inconvenience and injury, we’ll finally abandon the quick fixes, and turn to a more permanent solution.

Comments welcome.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Cheaters

The Cheaters
(by R.P.Edwards)

Red herrings and ruses
Liars and cheats
Buying and spying
Opponents to beat
It’s winning by spinning
“Our” power…to steal
And then have the gall
To call themselves … “real”

Really?  Felons in Minnesota voting? For who?

Really? Thugs standing in front of a polling place discouraging citizens from casting the “wrong” ballot?

Really? Primary workers pushing for Mr. O, and discouraging Hillaryites?

Voter fraud; manipulation; deception.  Stealing in it’s vilest form. The rights of citizens trampled.  The Constitution mocked, shredded, defiled.

I am mindful that an election is coming up and I am sure that the “cheaters” will be in full force.  And, before the "they both do it" argument is made (another red herring) let’s put the offenses on the scales of justice…and see which side tips.  The answer is obvious.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The "Must" win

The “Must” Win
(by R.P.Edwards)

It’s all about winning
When winning…is all
When winning is more
Than a plaque on the wall
When losing is death
Destruction and fear
A never forever
A destiny…clear
It’s all about winning
For losing…is dust
And options?…no option
This winning’s…a must

It was 1976; I was a fresh swabbie in the fairly new “volunteer” navy and, attending a training center in San Diego, on this particular day I cheerfully went to the lobby and found the cheapest beverage in the “beer” machine; Pabst Blue Ribbon.  I purchased a “buzz-full” and headed back up to my dorm-like room and proceeded to watch my beloved Yankees get their butts kicked in the World Series.  It wasn’t long after and my allegiance to the ‘Bronx Bombers’ also walked the plank.  I blamed George.

And so, George Steinbrenner--principle owner--‘The Boss’ of the winningest franchise in baseball…is called out on strikes.  In other words: dead.  Now, when I heard the news I wanted to take this event…somewhere;  but I wasn’t sure where.  I thought perhaps I’d explore the mortality angle.  After all, each of us has an appointment with the reaper…and then…judgment.  And, without question, many of the bobbles for which we lust for here…will have no meaning…there.  Or, in the same vein, I thought I might make a corporate jump; how some, in the name of maximum profit, will willingly, gleefully, trample, wreck and ruin any poor slob who gets in their way.  But…instead of the negative side of George; I’m going for the positive.

“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing.”  Thus said Mr. Steinbrenner at one point.  Now, going back to my “I blamed George” comment; the reason why I didn’t care for the Yankee CEO, is that he got rid of the “players” I liked.  You see, to me, the team was made up of personalities, and when these “people” were axed, my “team” was gone.  However, from a distance I certainly can understand the “win at all costs” attitude.  I don’t necessarily agree with it when it comes to sports or business (“all costs” can be brutal) but I understand it.  There is, however, one area where it is dearly needed.  And that is…the country.

Let’s be honest.  The nation, under new management, is headed for oblivion: Out of control spending.  A laughingstock abroad. Nearly non-responsive in the face of crisis. Enacting, or threatening legislation that is pushing us into bankruptcy (fiscal AND moral) and by all accounts promising to continue these “losing” ways.  Yes, what we need is some Steinbrenner hardness.  We, frankly, need to change players; we need--in this next election--to expunge, as many as possible, the enablers in the congress.  For, without the muscle, the manager’s schemes…will lose steam.  Then we at least have the “hope” that we can put this “team” on a winning tack.  A course, I pray, that in many ways mirrors the “winners” that reside in the Big Apple.  The winners…that George built.

Comments welcome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Marriage in the crosshairs

Simple Marriage?
(by R.P.Edwards)

It used to be so simple
One woman, and one man
Decreed by the Creator
A pure and simple plan
Just right for raising children
And keeping men in line
Plus honor for the woman
Society, sublime
But now the black-robed demigods
They rip the fabric’s threads
Spewing out apostasies
Standing on their heads
And marriage dies, diluted
Its meaning, in the bog
For men reverse the sacred word
And worship now…the dog

Judge Joseph Tauro, a federal judge in Bean Town, rules the 1996, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA, bipartisan, signed into law by President Clinton) is unconstitutional saying, among other things, that’s the state has the power to regulate the institution, not the heavy-handed Feds.  Of course, his definition of the term “regulate,” means “define,” as well.

(sigh) Once again a black-robed non-elected legislator informs the rest of us imbeciles that the individual States have the supreme right to determine the meaning of “black and white,” “up and down,” “forward and back,” and (slightly more seriously now) “marriage and non-marriage.”

Unable to win via the ballot box, left-leaning judges are the tool of choice for those who would mold us into their image.  And, as the defenders of traditional morality wrestle with these heretics; time, money, and human lives…are wasted.

And, concerning the royals, the dethroning of these “kings” will be difficult.  A beginning step, however, is to make sure those who appoint them are, never again, given the majority vote.  On that note: November is almost here, and your (our) vote has never mattered... so much

Comments welcome

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Stumper

The Stumper
(by R.P.Edwards)

Never own the buck
Tout your dream
Your vision, scheme
Then blame “them”…for your luck
Talk’s never been…so cheap
Oh how we wish
We had a man
Whose word
Is what…he keeps

"This is a choice between the policies that got us into this mess in the first place and the policies that are getting us out of this mess, and the other side is banking on people not having a good memory," said Mr. Obama. "They're trying to bamboozle you."

The previous quote of our ever-on-the-stump President, was plucked, word for word, from the Fox News website.  Thank you, ever so much.

And so, in Missouri, President Obama makes a stand for Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, as she gainfully fights against Congressman, Roy Blunt, as they together vie for the seat being vacated by Republican Senator, Kit Bond.  And what is the ammunition that the chief executive uses to sway the Midwestern voters? Blame, diversion, distraction.  But, what the good President may have forgotten, is that in “The Show Me State”…it takes more than words.   In fact, “he” might want to remember that for the first time in fifty-two years, the land of Harry Truman (Yes, “The buck stops here!” president) had not sided with the declared “winner” in 2008. Yes, these “flyover” folk didn’t fall for words then; and I doubt they will…now.

Comments welcome

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Presumption and Ignorance

My lifelong friends
(by R.P.Edwards)

Ignorance and presumption
Acquainted well, are we
From childhood’s first reasonings
To the graying years…of me
And I ponder all the treasures lost
From wayward paths of choice
And pray what’s left
Is now bereft
Of that old, familiar…voice

And I wonder, as I’m slowly accelerating on a somewhat lengthy on-ramp that will mesh me into a near freeway speed state highway; I wonder, as I tilt to one side and remove my back-pocket wallet and deftly extract a flosser (you know, one of those plastic dental floss holder things) from the supposed-to-be money slot and, accelerating, I put my focus into the rear-view mirror and pluck the hard-to-get remnants of my just polished off homemade sausage, egg, English-muffin from between a couple not-so-white teeth (don’t want to gross out the guys at the used tire place), I wonder; does the new anti-texting law in Illinois apply to such multi-taskers as I?  Probably not.  But there may be a “distracted driver” provision on the books.  So be it.  “Patooey!”

I noticed the vibration a while back.  Not much at first…but definitely there.  Well, it didn’t improve with age and, since I usually occupied a front seat (passenger side [mama likes to drive]), it seemed to me that the right front was the area of concern.  Now, since I had my own ride, I didn’t give it much regard but, with the ongoing news from the mrs--and the occasional firsthand experience of the “symptoms”--I finally got to the point where I had to (sigh) “do” something.

Okay, what to rule out.  Tires…last time I looked they were fine.  Maybe a front end problem?  Possible, we had some not-so-stellar maintenance done a while back; maybe something’s bent or broken?  How about some loose lug nuts (actually had a tire come violently disconnected due to this oversight).  So, given a window of opportunity (trapped in a parking lot while my wife had a half hour “appointment”) I started at the front right to see if there was any give to the rubber riders and, naturally, I began where I “presumed” the trouble was.  Nothing.  Then, I worked my way counterclockwise.  When I get to the back left…it looked a little weird.  Sort of bulging.  I checked the PSI.  It was right on.  I then reached in and over to give it a good tug and--a gotcha moment later--the skin-piercing steel belt said a hardy “hello!”  Yes, the tire was literally shredding to pieces.  So, understandably, the rest of my “waiting” time was consumed with taking off the offender and putting on the cute, temporary donut. 

Lesson learned.  Presumption, once again, steers me the wrong direction.  Ignorance (my car knowledge is limited) conspired with the former and, but for the grace of God, mama would have been on the side of the road…and none too happy.  Yes, in my problem solving I should have started where the rubber meets the road but…I “knew” better.  And, since I can’t leave without a connecting corollary, allow me me to make this observation: concerning the plethora of problems that currently assail the United States, we Americans continue to "presume" that our relationship with our Creator is just hunky-dory, so we, naturally, skip that foundational step.  Perhaps, my fellow citizens, before the ultimate blow-out, we should reconsider...and pray.

Comments welcome.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Omission

To reach the Heights
(by R.P.Edwards)

To reach the heights
Foundation, first
Poured…then leveled…cured
And then add brick
With mortar’s stick
Each wall
Both plumb, and sure
With these below
We upward go
No limit to our make
But one forget
One misplaced step
Then dreams will fall
And break

In the news is the discovery that Thomas Jefferson had a momentary brain-cramp while writing the Declaration of Independence; first penning the word “subjects“ before noticing the blunder and wiping, then substituting “citizens“ in its place.  Exciting stuff (especially for the science geeks among us).  However, it’s the sizable omission from the first draft that I find particularly interesting.  As follows:

 He (king George III) has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the  warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Yes, slavery.  Apparently the southern colonies wouldn’t go along with the Document with this portion still in place. As a result; they were placated, the end-thinking being, I suppose: “We’ll compromise here…and fix it later.”  Yes, it was fixed all right; four score and seven years later, and half a million…dead.

So, here, on this memorable day, is one man’s gentle observation and suggestion:  Consider: if slavery had been fixed in the beginning, it wouldn’t have been so difficult to uproot…in the end.  Even so, as we “conservatives” seek to straighten out the horrible mess that government has become, let’s be careful to not throw our “morals” under the bus in the name of expediency.  As for me, my “rightward-ness” comes from a strong Christian belief system.  I unashamedly acknowledge that deity is mentioned four times in the Declaration.  I cling to the closing phrase--“in the year of our Lord“--just before the signatures on the U.S. Constitution.  I can, and will not cast aside my support of the unborn and traditional morality for the hope of a  “balanced budget.”  In my mind, success, without the Declaration’s “Creator”…is impossible.  Let us, therefore, as many as are likeminded--and as the election quickly approaches--let us be sure to not repeat a mistake of omission…that will cost us, and future generations…dearly.

Comments welcome

Friday, July 2, 2010

The 51st State

State 51
(by R.P.Edwards)

Let’s lump them all together
Let’s make them all a state
Complete with bird and anthem
Oh, wouldn’t that be great!?
Two senators for venting
And reps?
Yes, quite a few
And on the flag
Another star
One less, than fifty-two
Let’s lump them all together
These leftward leaning loons
Who treat the rest as ignorant
Uncivilized, and goons
For oft we’ve been discordant
Our nerves, the others grate
Let’s lump them all together
These cities, now, a state!

“This lawsuit, I hope, will allow me to bring my handgun into the city legally…I only want a handgun in my house for my protection.” So said Otis McDonald; 76 years old, retired maintenance engineer, army veteran, democrat, long time resident of Chicago. 

Makes sense.  His neighborhood had deteriorated.  The whole citizen watch thing hadn’t worked out and, by the time police show up…he and his loved ones could very well be ruining the carpet with their freshly spilled blood.  Maybe, just maybe, a personal, last resort firearm…would be a deterrent, or at least level the playing field a bit.

Well, Mayor Richard Daley and his kind would (and will) have none of it.  Even though the Supreme Court has ruled in Mr. McDonald’s favor, the mayor of Chicago is determined to keep guns out of the hands of the law abiding citizens.  Apparently he’s oblivious to the fact that criminals…DON’T FOLLOW THE LAW!

Now, I suppose I could, with a little more research, more succinctly lay out the 2nd Amendment pro-gun argument, but, what catches my interest at this time is not the “whether ’tis or tisn’t” but, the question that troubles my midwestern mind is, “What in the world is wrong with our larger cities?”  For the life of me I don’t understand why so many of our major metropolises are bastions of left-leaning liberal think.  Whether it be gun rights, abortion, basic traditional morality; if you want the leftward view and practices…go to the big city.  If fact, as a Land of Lincoln resident, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “If it wasn’t for Chicago, Illinois would be alright.”  I presume similar sentiments abound in other states.

So, here’s a proposition: Since they are so alike, and since modern technology makes distance, moot; how about we bunch all the like-minded big cities together…and make them a separate state.  Yes, no longer would they have to deal with the ‘country bumpkins’ and, like every other of the fifty, they’d have senators, representatives, a governor, an anthem, a state bird, tree, bug, etc; and we wouldn’t dilute their vote, and they…wouldn’t tilt ours.  Now, the question remains, “What would we name this super city?”  Bostonians may suggest, “The Big Bean.” New Yorkers might offer, “The really Big Apple.” But, I think the more appropriate and obvious handle would be…Babylon. 

Comments welcome.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hemmer vs Schakowsky

The eyes of Jan
(by R.P.Edwards)

Oh, to have the eyes of Jan
To see the beauty of the plan
To grasp the wonder of the dream
To hear the song above the scream
And look beyond the sinking prow
As great and small
To death must bow
As icy knives remove their spark
The eyes of Jan see light, not dark
And climbing to the lifeboat’s seat
She whispers, “This, is not defeat.
The ship will rise, and steam anew!”
As bodies bunch
In silence, blue
And true believers, trust betrayed
Go down to tombs
Below the waves
And seeing, she, to those at hand
Repeats the beauty…of the plan

The General stood at the podium and cleared his throat as he prepared to address a question from the press corps concerning the apparent dismal state of the war effort.  “Gentlemen, and lady (a gentle nod and acknowledgment to the lone female occupying a back seat), well, while I am concerned about that, the real issue…is real-estate.  You see, of late we’ve taken more land --albeit small in acreage--than was accomplished in the eight years of the prior administration.”  There was a palpable “something” (akin to a punch in the gut) as literally all in attendance tried to wrap their brains around a statement that, on it’s face, seemed utterly absurd.  “General,” interrupted the original asker, “are you saying that, because our armed forces have taken more land than the previous administration that we are now in a better state?” “Exactly.” “But general (the reporter stood and motioned towards the grossly altered map of the U.S.) eight years ago the continental United States stretched from Sea to Shining Sea.  It’s during the current administration’s reign that the enemy has invaded and occupied all the way up to the Mississippi and yet, because our valiant warriors have regained the St Louis waterfront; you say we’ve made more progress!? That’s insane!”

Being afforded the morning view (working midnights) I turned to “America’s Newsroom” on Fox and heard co-host, Bill Hemmer, ask Illinois Representative, Jan Schakowsky, to comment on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that said, in essence, that at the end of the 2010 fiscal year the federal debt will be 62%, up from 40% in 2008.  This new number is roughly equivalent to the nation’s burden at the end of World War II!  Bill asked, “Does this blow you away when you hear these numbers?” To which, Ms. Schakowsky (who happens to be a member of President Obama’s Commission for Fiscal Responsibility) responded, “Well, while I am concerned about that…” and then she went on to talk about the importance of job creation and how “This administration, and this congress…is set to create more jobs in eight months than eight years of Bush.” Bill seemed a bit taken aback and asked, “You said we’re doing better?”

It was truly laughable, if not for being so sad.  For, as the ridiculous beginning anecdote alludes, it appears the good congresswoman considers more jobs “created” as a greater good than millions more…actually working!  Granted, the interview was not exhaustive, but the good lady’s view seemed plain enough.  And, as the clock constrained, Bill, after citing more statistics concluded by saying, “The numbers don’t lie…this is grim news for Americans.  I don’t know how you can stand there and make the argument that it’s not.”  And I say,  Hear hear! Bill Hemmer. Hear hear!

Comments welcome